The night that begins the semis begins with scenes from last week’s episode. Jesse Taylor outlasts Dante Rivera to earn a place in the semis (which Jesse almost loses when Jeremy May almost goads Jesse into hitting him). Then Tim Credeur is able to submit Dan Cramer with a first round heel hook to move him into the next round. In Dana White’s opinion, the best guys have made it to the final four.
It is decided that the first fight will be Jesse and Tim. While they’re close friends, it is clear that to them, the cage is all business. Forrest then decides that he will corner Jesse (with the help of Matt Brown), while the rest of the coaching staff will corner Tim.
As is TUF tradition, Dana brings on the Coaches Challenge. They go into the casino thinking they’re going to play cards…until they walk on to a basketball court. Forrest is elated (he played ball in high school), while Rampage basically admits that he sucks. The challenge: Ultimate Fighter Horse. The winning coach gets $10,000; the fighters each get a grand. Dana ups the ante and offers to double the fighters’ money if Rampage can nail a three….and somehow he pulls it out of nowhere and does it! But…it goes all down hill for Rampage from there — he totally stinks up the court, while Forrest is on fire. He even ends it with a sweet dunk (so white men can jump?) and Rampage just gives in. On the game, Dana says “I don’t know if Forrest wanted the $10,000 or if he just wanted to beat Rampage, but he was dead fucking serious.” No freakin’ kidding.
Back at the house…Jesse gets a hair cut and gets — get this — half of a dollar sign shaved into the back of his hair. This is part of his new persona — JT Money. To top it off, he starts a sober rant, but it’s nothing but gibberish coming out of his mouth. Yes…I said sober.
But, then the Jaeger begins to flow…Tim doesn’t really drink, which is lucky for him because the house goes from 0 to Animal House in nothing flat. The shots are flowing and all the guys are downing beers left and right. There are a lot of shots of Jesse acting like a drunken frat boy. He’s running and jumping everywhere — turns into Coco the Monkey says Amir — and is zipping through the house with a bottle of vodka tucked under his arm like a football. Finally, Tim tries to be the voice of reason and calm Jesse down and sober him up by getting in the pool. Jesse changes into his shorts, then stands on the living room carpet and pisses his pants (DÃ©jÃ vu anyone?). He then gets in the hot tub and keeps himself underwater because he doesn’t wanna get out of the hot tub. Yeah, he’s pretty much trying to drown himself. Drunk. Before a fight. Tim has to physically drag him out. And yet somehow, the next day, Jesse is not even hung-over. WTF??
At the Team Forrest Training Session the next day, both fighters give each other a lot of props. It is pretty much the consensus that Jesse is a great wrestler, but that Tim has better jiu jitsu. Tim is even kind enough to give Jess advice on how to avoid the triangle because he wants to beat the best Jesse possible.
When interviewed back at the house, both guys are very emotional. Jesse’s motivation is his 3 year-old son. He says he never realized how much he would miss him. Tim, on the other hand, has his wife to thank. After 10 years of not winning, he was about to retire. His wife convinced him to stick with it. She showed him that good things happen to good people — and now he’s in the final four. Go figure.
3 Five-minute rounds
Both seem a bit tentative and start it standing up. Taylor gets the take down and begins his typical ground-n-pound. Credeur does a good job at covering his head and blocking. Credeur is able to get head control. But Taylor is still able to land some great shots to Credeur’s head. Taylor keeps posturing and landing punches. He continues his GNP in full guard. He’s raining down a flood of elbows, forearms and fists. Credeur then gets Taylor’s arm…..Taylor gets out of it and Credeur goes for the triangle, but can’t quite get it. Taylor gets back in full guard and delivers more GNP. He drops several big elbows on Credeur’s face. Credeur keeps trying to posture for a submission but he opens himself up to some serious punches. Credeur is really being punished. He goes for another triangle or an arm, but can’t get it. He ends up back with full guard and, you guessed it, more GNP from Taylor. The round ends with Credeur warding off Taylor’s heavy hands.
Credeur comes out with a big spinning kick that doesn’t connect. Taylor gets the take down and Credeur immediately goes for an arm, but can’t keep it. Taylor is back in full guard (Gee, this feels familiar!). Taylor continues the punishment where Round 1 left off. Credeur tries to maintain control of Taylor’s head. Taylor is off for a second and Credeur tries to take advantage and find a submission….and Credeur ends up on top in full mount! Taylor rolls and Credeur gets his back. Taylor rolls back over and Credeur still has full mount. Taylor rolls and bucks Credeur off, with Credeur on his back with full guard. Credeur at least tries to kick Taylor off and maneuver out of guard. He uses the fence to turn himself, but not necessarily in a favorable position. Taylor continues his GNP. Credeur swivels on to his side which allows Taylor to pound on his face. Credeur returns to his back and the end rounds with Credeur fending off punches to his face.
Taylor immediately goes on the offensive and goes for the take down, but Credeur sprawls and avoids it. Eventually Taylor gets Credeur on his back though. Back to the usual…GNP from Taylor. Credeur gets his feet on Taylor’s hips and tries to flip him a couple times. He eventually flips him off and gets Taylor’s back. He almost gets his hooks in but Taylor rolls and gets Credeur on his back and has him in full guard. Credeur manages to get an arm, but Taylor twists out of it. Taylor continues to control Credeur with his barrage of fists and elbows. Credeur finally gets his hooks in, but loses them to more GNP. Credeur throws in some desperate elbows and punches from his back, but Taylor just responds with the same. Credeur makes another armbar attempt, another triangle attempt, but nothing is close to being accomplished. The fight ends with more damage being done to Credeur’s face.
Winner: Jesse Taylor by unanimous decision (30-27; 30-26; 30-26)
The post-fight scenes are the best I’ve seen yet. Dana shares his words of wisdom. Tim’s corner told him not to close his guard, to stay in the butterfly guard. When he was doing that, he looked fantastic. When he didn’t, he was getting his face smashed in. When you’re a good submission guy like Tim, you’re always just one little move away from ending the fight. And he was always thisclose to ending the fight.
And for the priceless moment of the night! Before the winner is announced, Jesse is almost crying as he hugs Tim. At which time, Jesse then runs to the corner and throws up.
Jesse moves on to the finals and will face the winner of the fight between Amir and C.B.
And from the guy who gives us the greatest yakking moment in TUF, we also get the quote of the night. In response to his win, Jesse is stoked that his dream came true and he will be moving on to the finals. The finals are “the icing on the ice cream; I dunno if I said that right.” Yep, that Jesse is a man of words, I tell ya!
In a preview of next week’s episode, the remaining semifinal fight between Amir and C.B. is hyped. But something even bigger is going to happen. We are flashed a scene involving a limo (and what appears to be a broken window)… and it is implied that someone in this limo does something very stupid. That very stupid something gets them kicked out of the finale, and out of the UFC! Who said there’d be no drama this season??
Just a thought…Could it be our dreams may come true? Could it be that Jeremy May’s ridiculous antics will finally catch up to him and make him go away? I don’t know about everyone else, but I will be wishing for it for the next week.